“Apparently it’s party time.”
For once we were able to get started early on a Friday. I arrived at Erin’s at 10:45 and we departed shortly after. The first sale on our list was located really close to Erin’s house. As soon as we walked in, we recognized the woman running the sale as the same one we met at the beauty salon sale. We thought this was a good sign, but as it turns out, it wasn’t. I’ll get to that in a minute.
So, this house seemed to have some treasures in it if you dug enough. Erin certainly found some that I’m sure she’ll write about in her update. I found a couple of cool things, but nothing crazy. There was a HUGE collection of Playboys, but they had them all grouped together and were trying to sell them as a lot for $175!!! WTF? They were all newer, too. No vintage as far as I could tell at all.
When we got to the basement, there were lots of other magazines, and when I started sorting through some of them, I discovered that there was actually another whole stack of Playboys hidden amongst some Golf Magazines. The stack of Playboys I found went up through August of last year, so dude was still gettin’ his porn on until late in life. I couldn’t exactly figure out this man’s steeze but he seemed to like golf, naked ladies, and western wear. Here’s one of the best things I found:
That is a label inside one of his cowboy hats.
While we were in the basement, I also spied some sealed alcohol. Most of it was champagne, but they also had some old beer. At this point, Erin already had a load of stuff in her arms, and was desperately searching for a box. I emptied one for her; it was sort of large but not deep. She said that was fine, and started loading it up with stuff, including four bottles of the alcohol. A disaster waiting to happen, I know.
Anyway, I had two breakable items in my hands and then found the stack of Playboys, so I wasn’t much better off. Erin definitely had it worse, though, because in addition to the box of heavy stuff, she had a fold-up chair hanging from her arm, and then two golf clubs in her hands.
So here is where it gets really great. We are waiting in line with all our crap, and there’s one guy in front of us. While that guy is waiting to finish checking out with a credit card, the woman whom Erin “loved” from the beauty salon sale (who is the only person at the table) gets a call on her cell phone and proceeds to talk to this person casually for literally 5 minutes. Important to note: there are probably five people behind Erin and I. The guy shuffles from foot to foot, trying to figure out if he’s done or needs to stay. About two minutes into the conversation, she makes a gesture so he knows he can leave. But that leaves the rest of us standing there, waiting. A woman a few people behind me tells her husband to go find the other woman working the sale, who basically ends up being useless.
Erin looks at me desperately, because there’s nowhere for her to put her giant box of stuff, and it’s getting too heavy for her. I can’t help much because my arms are also full. The woman just keeps going on and on with her friend on the phone, making plans to meet up “any day but Thursday,” and blah blah blah. It was seriously insane. Finally, she gets off the phone, looks at Erin and says, “WHAT’S UP.” I’ll let Erin debrief you on the exchange, but needless to say, it was also insane.
Here is a picture of the best treasure I found at this sale. A porcelain beagle made in Japan. Y’all know I can’t resist my beagle statues.
We finally made our way out of the house and on to the next sale which was only a few miles from that one. They had a bunch of old children’s toys and puzzles, but they weren’t in great shape and they were sort of marked up. I did, however, find something that was NOT marked up, which hopefully will be fruitful. An original Margaret Wise Brown. Damn, Dawg!
I’ve got it up on eBay now, thanks to a friend who helped me identify it as a first edition. If you know of a collector, send them my way!
I also found Papa Bear.
He’s in good shape and will fit right in on my shelf of stuffed children’s book characters at work.
On our way to the next sale, we saw an estate sale sign that was not on our list, nor was it online. SECRET SALE! It was weird but ended up being fruitful, as I found these absolutely adorable vintage buddies:
They were in a big ziplock baggie that had a sticker on it that said “VINTAGE KURT ADLER SCROOGE SET”… I couldn’t tell a lot about what Kurt Adler ornaments were at first glance, but after doing some research when I got home, it seems like it’s a company that’s been around for a while, and also like it’s a brand that people collect. Anyway, the set already has some watchers, so I’m hoping for a good outcome. They’re so cute! I honestly don’t really want to sell them but they’re pretty big and we already have too many ornaments (you’re welcome, Adam).
At this point we were really hungry, and the final sale of the day was really close to Pastries by Ellen again, so I cheered as Erin agreed that we could eat there. We fueled up on delicious food and treats and headed out to the final sale. Now, this sale was run by the kids who seem like they’re squatting in the houses where they have sales. But Erin wanted to go because it was supposedly the home of a collector who had multiple antique booths. Anyway, the house was about as horrific inside as the previous sale they ran that we wrote about, and the items were equally overpriced. Here’s an example, but Erin has more:
This is a bad picture, but basically, that is a windowsill full of garbagey christmas ornaments priced from anywhere between $3 and $10 each.
I ended up finding a couple of cool things. First, this old wooden Vernor’s carrier:
If you don’t like Vernor’s, you’re crazy. If you don’t know what Vernor’s is, you’re not from Michigan.
I also found these two weird prints of EMU from… the ’50s or ’60s if I had to guess.
They are both by a person named Ralph Avery, and were both marked $5. I sort of felt obligated to buy them, but also liked the ’50s looking people walking around campus.
Finally, Erin found some vintage LEGOs on a table. So of course, I had to call Adam. One set was marked $75 because it was sealed, but it actually seemed pretty cool—the red double-decker London bus.
I gathered all of my stuff and went outside to check out. Adam told me to ask the guy if he’d take $40 for it and it seemed unlikely to me, but I figured I’d ask. The guy said he’d take $50, so I just said, “Ok, what would you want for all of this stuff?” The Vernor’s box was marked $25, the two prints were marked $5 each, and the bus was marked $75. He said I could have it all for $70 and so I went ahead and got it all because that’s a $40 discount. SWEET!
To top things off, when we were about to leave, one of his employees went out to their scary looking “company” van and grabbed a Coors Light. The guy running the sale looked at me, rolled his eyes and said, “Apparently it’s party time. Fuckin’ A.”
Update from Erin: So yeah, I almost passed out at that first sale. Here is what I had in my hands while the seller lady chatted away on the phone for 5 minutes: 2 CRAZY HEAVY cast iron skillets, 2 FULL bottles of champagne, 2 FULL collectible bottles of beer, an old metal wind chime, a wooden fold-out PGA chair, and 2 golf clubs.
I was sweating so bad trying to hold this stuff in line, and there was literally no where to set it down. My arms started shaking and I kept looking at Sarah in desperation, mouthing “It’s so heavy! It’s so heavy.” Like Sarah mentioned, the lady finally got off the phone and then asked me, “WHAT UP?”
I looked at her in disbelief and said, “Uh, I’d like to buy all of these things.” Of course, nothing was priced, and the seller started slowly glancing over my items. Things quickly devolved into total chaos as she quoted me $60 for just the skillets and alcohol. Um, no. She then said that the golf clubs were $20 EACH. Um, no.
We negotiated back and forth and it became clear that she was getting confused by what prices she had already quoted me. We settled on $20 for the skillets, German wind chime, and the PGA chair. Fair enough, especially since one of the skillets was Griswold. I left the alcohol and golf clubs behind. Here is the wind chime that I plan to put on my back deck:
Here is the staircase to the attic from the second sale:
Not dangerous at all.
Also not dangerous at all was the attic itself. The floorboards were super flimsy and I was sure we were going to plummet through the floor at any moment. At one point, I found an odd looking bundle wrapped in newspaper and tied shut with string. I started to open it and was chanting, “bag of money! bag of money!” I was so sure I was about to make it rain up in there.
The bundle ended up being a bunch of old baby gowns and clothes from the 1950s. All in great shape and super fancy. I am going to list them soon on ebay, but if they don’t sell, I will tuck them away for a future mini-Erin baby.
The last sale was a nightmare. The house had no heat and this day was a super windy 40 degrees, so we were walking around the sale shivering. I could tell that we were both getting cranky from the cold and the insane prices at this sale, because we didn’t try to whisper our commentary. At one point, I openly noted that Sarah would have to dip into her 401K early to buy some of the things for sale. For example, here are some drinking and wine glasses:
They are marked $15. They weren’t signed and they clearly aren’t solid gold, so I was pretty stumped on this one.
We moved through the sale pretty quickly, which was made easier by the giant holes in the walls that we stepped right through.
I ended up buying a heavy wool jacket from the United States Military Academy at West Point. I found it in a box of clothing that had a sign directly above saying, “All Clothing $2.” There was a lot of other jackets, sweaters, etc. but the only indication for pricing was that sign. I handed one guy the $2, but then another dude started insinuating that I should give them more money. Oh boy. The issue was dropped once the guys decided to go outside and drink beer instead. Anyway, here I am in the coat. I planned to sell it, but think it might make cute and super warm winter wear. We’ll see!
P.S. By the looks of this photo, I definitely wasn’t out until 2am the previous night at a martini bar. Wait, yes I was.